Haas F1 Team are optimistic ahead of the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season at Albert Park this weekend.
The team have just come off the back of a new, six-day pre-season testing format at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Melbourne “the unknown”
Team principal Guenther Steiner feels the current format works well, and disagrees with proposals to cut testing time down even more, which he says would makes things difficult if they were to experience mechanical or reliability issues with the car.
“I think six days worked out pretty well. At this time, I don’t see the need to cut it even less, should you have a problem you wouldn’t recover. With six days, if you lose one, you’ve still got five at least,” said the Italian.
“It gets tight if you cut to fewer days than that. We’ve seen that we’ve all improved our reliability, maybe we just got lucky, but next year we’ll see where that goes. For sure though, we all arrived well prepared and everybody just did the same job in six days that we used to do in eight. I would definitely stick with six.”
He went on to say that the start of the season is always a bit of an unknown for the team, as they don’t know if they’re going to come home with a good or bad result. Nevertheless, Steiner said he liked the challenge.
“Melbourne is always the unknown for me. We’ve had fantastic results there and we’ve been on our way to some strong results before we messed up. We’ve really had a little bit of everything there.
“I always like to go to Melbourne, even with the mixed results. I always find it an interesting race; you never know what you’re getting out of it.”
“I love the Albert Park circuit”
Frenchman Romain Grosjean is also a fan of Albert Park, despite not always achieving the results he would like to. Despite this, he is confident he will be able to turn his fortunes around this year.
“I love the Albert Park circuit and I love Australia and the city of Melbourne. To me it’s one of the best races of the season.
“I’m happy to go down to Australia every year. I’ve had some good qualifying sessions there, I’ve always been pretty much in the top 10, with a couple of exceptions.
“The races, yes, my luck hasn’t been good in Australia. I’ve got the feeling things will be different this year and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Magnussen “fortunate to have had good races” in Australia
Albert Park is a track which is of special importance to Dane Kevin Magnussen – it is the place where he took his first podium finish on his F1 début with the McLaren F1 Team in 2014. Nonetheless, he doesn’t feel that the circuit suits his driving style.
“I don’t actually think Albert Park suits my driving style, but that said, it’s not a track I dislike at all, I do like driving the circuit.
“It’s a pretty normal track for me and I think I’ve just been fortunate to have had good races there.
“I can’t really point out any reasons why Albert Park should be any better for me than other tracks. I think it’s just coincidence I’ve had good races there,” he concluded.